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At CU Denver, we have a longstanding belief that finances should never stand in the way of motivated, talented individuals who want to better themselves and make a positive impact on the world around them. Through a tradition providing strong financial assistance and aid programs, we enforce this belief every day.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Director of Financial Aid & Scholarship Office: Justin Jaramillo
Office: Student Commons Building, 5105
Student Financial Aid Information
The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office delivers more than $128 million in financial aid awards to qualified students at the Denver Campus each year. Graduate Students will be considered for a financial aid award primarily made up of student loans. Some work-study funding is available to graduate students as well.
To be considered for financial aid, students should complete the (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) FAFSA annually. The application becomes available October 1 of each year for the upcoming year’s funding. Upon completing the application, students should monitor their email provided on the FAFSA, University email, and UCDAccess portal To Do List for requests for follow up paperwork. To be considered for a financial aid award, all requested documents must be received and accepted by the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.
Students may also obtain important information online at www.ucdenver.edu/finaid. All financial aid policies and procedures are subject to change due to revisions in federal and state laws, regulations, guidelines and applicable institution policies.
Students are informed by University email when awarded financial aid. The email notice advises students to review their award on the UCDAccess portal. Financial aid awards should be available for review approximately four to six weeks after all application materials have been accepted. The information provided will include types of award and amount of aid awarded.
Each student must meet the following eligibility criteria to quality for financial aid:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Have a valid social security number (exceptions for students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
- Be classified as a degree-seeking student by the University of Colorado Denver Office of Admissions
- Be enrolled at least half-time (3 credits hours for graduate students).
- Meet financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
- Not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund on any educational grant.
- Male applicants must be registered with the Selective Service.
- Sign the statement of educational purposes on the FAFSA application.
Financial Aid eligibility is largely based on the concept of financial need. Financial need is calculated as the Cost of Attendance (tuition, fees, books, and living expenses) minus the Expected Family Contribution or EFC (student/spouse contributions and parents’ contribution for dependent students). A student’s EFC is assigned directly from the information provided on the FAFSA application.
Cost of Attendance is the estimated annual cost to attend CU Denver, including tuition and fees, room, board, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses. The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office determines standard COA based upon average tuition and fees charged and other items established by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Current COA figures are available on the website www.ucdenver.edu/finaid.
The EFC from the student and spouse (if applicable) are calculated by a standardized formula that is determined by data provided on the FAFSA and is required by federal law. The formula considers income, savings and other assets, family size, number of children in postsecondary school and other factors and then assigns a student an EFC.
Financial Aid is intended to supplement and not replace financial contributions from the student/spouse. If the EFC is equal to or greater than the COA, then the student will not qualify for need-based financial aid, but can still receive non-need based financial aid such as Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans up to but not exceeding their COA. Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans comprise the majority of all graduate students’ financial aid awards regardless of financial need.
Most graduate financial aid programs require at least half-time enrollment (3 credit hours per semester) to be eligible for awards.
Notice for Graduate Students: The financial aid definition of half-time enrollment may differ from the academic definition of half-time enrollment based on degree programs. See a financial aid advisor for more information.
Grants, Loans and Work-Study
- Colorado Graduate Grant (CGG) - CGG is a state funded grant program. High-need students (determined by the FAFSA) studying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) are considered for the award, however it is not guaranteed. To be considered for this grant, students must be residents of the state of Colorado and enrolled in a minimum of 4 credit hours per semester. Amounts vary each year depending on funding and the number of eligible students.
- Federal Teach Grant - TEACH Grant is a federally funded grant program available to students enrolled in specific programs who intend to teach in a public or private school that serves students from low-income families. Students can be considered for up to $4000 per academic year, if eligible. To learn more, visit Student Aid on the Web.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan - The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need based, federally funded loan. To be considered for the loan, students should complete the FAFSA. Students receive a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The grace period begins six-months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, discontinues their program of study or graduates. The yearly aggregate limit for the loan is $20,500.
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan - The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need based, federally funded loan. To be considered for the loan, students should complete the FAFSA. The student receives a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The grace period begins six-months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, discontinues their program of study or graduates. Graduate PLUS Loans are awarded after the full yearly or lifetime (whichever limit is reached first) aggregate amount of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan is awarded (see above). Students must receive an approved credit result to borrow a Graduate PLUS Loan.
- Federal Work-Study- This is a federally funded, need-based work-study program that allows students to work on a part-time basis (on campus, off campus or at nonprofit agencies) to help meet their educational costs.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
To continue to be eligible for financial aid, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress. If a student is not meeting SAP standards, they may be ineligible for financial aid and scholarship. For more information, students should review the Satisfactory Academic Policy by visiting www.ucdenver.edu/finaid/sap.
A student may appeal financial aid suspension by submitting a SAP Appeal. The SAP appeal should document the extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s suspension. All appeals should include third party supporting documentation.
Withdrawals and Repayments
Financial aid is disbursed based on the assumption a student will attend courses for the entire semester and earn passing grades. A student who withdraws or fails all courses and received financial aid must have a Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation performed to determine the percentage of aid that was earned based on the amount of time the student attended their courses. Students are entitled to aid that was earned. The University will return any unearned aid to the appropriate Federal Title IV program, which may create a balance owed to the University.
CU Denver is required to verify a student began attendance in any course a student withdraws from or fails. If the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office receives notification that a student never began attendance, or is unable to document that a student began attendance in a course, the student’s financial aid will be adjusted appropriately.
The Financial Aid & Scholarships office awards over $18 million dollars in scholarships annually. For a complete listing of the many scholarships offered at the Denver Campus, visit www.ucdenver.edu/scholarships.